Remakes often get a bad name in movie discussions. But some of the most beloved movies ever made are remakes of earlier films. Below I’ll look at ten classic movies that are all remakes people may not know are remakes. Whether they take the premise in a wildly different direction or simply move the action to a different location or era, these movies are classics that often outshine their source material. 

1. The Fly (1986)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

A remake of the 1958 film of the same name starring Vincent Price, David Cronenberg’s The Fly from 1986 pushes the body horror of the premise to its furthest point. The movie follows a scientist who invents a teleportation machine that scrambles and reassembles the molecules of anything or anyone inside after his molecules become mixed with that of a fly.

However, unlike the original, which includes just one transformation scene, Cronenberg’s remake takes time to show Jeff Goldblum’s scientist slowly changing into something inhuman. 

2. The Thing (1982)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Another 1980s horror classic that adds significant body horror to its original story, John Carpenter’s The Thing is a remake of 1951’s The Thing From Another World. Both stories center on a group of people at an arctic outpost who encounter an alien frozen in the ice.

But the remake adds the layer that the titular thing can take the shape of any biological organism. So it doesn’t just up the body horror but also adds to the paranoia of the story because none of the characters know who they can trust.  

3. The Last House on the Left (1972)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

A movie that has now been remade itself, horror legend Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left is a remake of Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring. Both movies tell the story of criminals who commit s—al assault and murder on a young girl, subsequently seeking refuge at her parents’ residence following their heinous act. Craven, of course, ups the brutality and explicit violence for his exploitation-era take on the material. 

4. The Departed

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

There is a long tradition of films being remade in different languages. One celebrated recent example is The Departed, Martin Scorsese’s remake of the Hong Kong Infernal Affairs film series.

Both stories revolve around the entwined tales of gangsters and detectives infiltrating each other’s ranks and striving to uncover the undercover agents within the opposing factions. “The Departed” stands out as a remarkable adaptation, considering it condenses the essence of three separate films into one impressive film.

5. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Photo Credit: MGM.

An earlier example of an English language remake of a non-English film, the 1960s The Magnificent Seven, is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

Both movies center on countryside towns often under attack by marauders who seek the aid of seven heroes. This initial transformation of a samurai film into a western serves as just one example that highlights the symbiotic relationship between these two film genres.

6. A Fistful of Dollars

Photo Credit: Jolly Film.

A later example of the relationship between samurai and western films is this western remake of another Kurosawa film, YojimboA Fistful of Dollars moves the story west but maintains the same story beats of a lone warrior playing two warring factions in a town against each other for his gain. 

7. A Star Is Born (1954)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

There are now four different cinematic iterations of A Star is Born. Although many viewers are aware that the 2018 movie is a remake, they might not realize that the initial release occurred in 1937, predating the 1954 rendition featuring Judy Garland. Each adaptation narrates the tumultuous journey of a young aspiring actress and a seasoned star grappling with addiction as they navigate the highs and lows of their relationship.

8. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The rare remake that doesn’t change anything about its original plot or setting, Little Shop of Horrors (1986) updates the original 1960 film by adding songs. Indeed, the 1986 rendition is a cinematic interpretation of the musical stage production, drawing inspiration from the original film. Both narratives offer a delightful and entertaining experience centered around a man-eating plant that initially appears as a blessing for a petite floral boutique but rapidly transforms into a dangerous threat.

9. Heat

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

It doesn’t happen often, but filmmakers sometimes remake their earlier work. That’s the case with Heat, Michael Mann’s 1995 bank heist masterpiece, a remake of Mann’s earlier made-for-TV movie L.A. Takedown

10. Scarface (1983)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Brian De Palma’s crime world opus about a man who rises to power only for his ambition to be his downfall isn’t the most original plotline, but in this case, it’s also a direct remake of the 1932 film of the same name. While the 1983 films can be much more explicit in their s–, violence, and drug use, both explore ambition in criminal underworlds. 

Source: Reddit.

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25 Extraordinary Sequels and Remakes That Outshine the Originals

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Kyle Logan
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